Last September I had the good fortune of getting my hands on a pair of Shimano AM41’s. I did an extensive Initial Impressions post on it (here) but the handful of rides, I think, weren’t enough to really describe the whole experience. So I’m wrapping up the Product Review (my first) with this Final Thoughts post on the same pair – four months down the road.
So, as with four months and many, many rides – both harkor and not so harkor – the shoe has been very good to me and I’ve enjoyed them immensely. The good points that I’ve mentioned in the first part of the review have only been validated and I’ve actually found or discovered new strengths for these kicks. However, I’ve also found some ‘bad points’ – but nothing that I wasn’t already expecting.
Let’s see what 4 months worth of wear and tear has done to the shoe:
Honestly, I didn’t expect damage on the top flap of the shoe from the get go – I had thought it’d be much tougher than they seem to be now. However, I’m not complaining of it’s durability because, considering the habits I have with my pedals, these seem to be just minor scratches.
The soles seem hard to the touch. Try to compress them with your fingers and they’ll barely budge. Doesn’t seem like it when you look at it for the first time. One would expect (at least I did) that the rubber would be somewhat softer to provide better grip on the pedals, but apparently the hard material seems to provide enough grip.
In spite of this though, wear and tear is still present on the soles. Some of the hexagons seem to have sustained damage. I’m sure that some of them were caused by pedal pins, although it won’t be farfetched to think that a couple on there were caused by the terrain (i.e. sharp rocks, sharp pebbles on cement, etc.).
One of the great discoveries about this shoe was how well the material and the top flap worked at keeping my feet dry. I’ve had several wet weather and muddy trail rides but there haven’t been any, and I mean ZERO, rides in the past four months that I went home with wet feet and socks. Consider how amazing a feeling that is coming from the shoes I used to ride with (click here). To make things even better, one would think, looking at the materials the shoe’s uppers are made from, that wearing them would make your feet really hot and stuffy – but they’re not. The shoes aren’t Adidas Climacool shoes, BUT they don’t cook our feet the way some others, with similar materials, do. Amazing. Plus points for me as I hate that feeling.
I took a wet rag, wiped the shoe with it and voila. It’s still shiny in the photo because of the water – looking at it now, it’s noticeably cleaner.
Forgive the Giordano plastic bag. I keep the shoes in there when I don’t use them. My wife hates it when I spread mud and sand on the floor. hehe.
What’s the bottom line?
These shoes are great! I loved how comfy they are, I love how they look (yes, it’s a love ’em or hate ’em affair with these things though), I love how they keep water and mud out of my feet, and most of all I love how they grip my big arse pedals. These shoes really give me confidence in going downhill. No more fears of slipping off or getting bounced off as easily (I still do but it takes quite rocky or rough terrain to do so). I believe that these shoes really are a worthy investment if you’re into flat pedal shoes. They’re much cheaper than some more popular brands (5.10’s and Teva’s) – although their aesthetics, admittedly aren’t as polished, but with more enduro and downhill riders rockin’ these kicks, I think the ‘cool’ factor is still there.
If and when these do go to heaven, will I buy a pair again? Well, YES, of course. BUT, at this point, if and when these do give way, I’m taking that as a sign to move on to Shimano AM45’s – the clipless big brother of the AM41’s. That’d be another product review right there. HAHA.
Don’t want to take my word on how good these shoes are? Well, let BikeMag.com convince you:
Click HERE for their full review